ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Monday, June 6, 2016

"Facebook Addendums": Does Your Landlord Want to Be Your Friend?

I'm one of those apparently rare people who doesn't really use Facebook. But Facebook was evidently very important to City Park Apartments in Salt Lake City, whose management company presented all of the tenants with a "Facebook addendum" to their lease. The addendum allegedly stated that all residents had to befriend the complex on Facebook or be found in breach of their lease agreement. 

This seems like an alarming development that I hope is going to be very limited. Is a Facebook account going to start being like a telephone number or an e-mail address, something it's assumed by everyone that you have and should hand over access to in exchange for goods or services? The reason I stopped using Facebook was because of privacy concerns. I wouldn't be thrilled about being told that I'm required by my lease to make sure my landlord can watch my Facebook activities (which often correspond, as we all know, to our real-life activities; if your landlord asked to follow you around through your daily life, or to get e-mailed your vacation photos, I would think many people would consider that a weird request).

And, since I don't do anything on Facebook, does that mean that I wouldn't be allowed to rent an apartment there unless I opened an account? Many people have legitimate, important, in some cases necessary reasons to limit their online presence. Let's hope "Facebook addendums" don't start sweeping the nation. 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2016/06/facebook-addendums-does-your-landlord-want-to-be-your-friend.html

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Comments

Alarming indeed. I'd hope the blowback would be enough that the "market" would correct this idea from taking hold. If not, this sounds like a ripe place for some consumer protection legislation--or even a more robust understanding of what counts as an unconscionable term.

Posted by: Mark Edwin Burge | Jun 6, 2016 3:53:49 PM

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